I’ve been driving for almost ten years and, honestly? It’s the one thing that makes me feel totally and utterly able. Behind the wheel, I forget about the wheelchair sat beside me and embrace the open road ahead. That is, until I that little red light inevitably pings up on the dashboard to let me know that I need to stop at a garage soon. It is then that my mobility role changes somewhat.
To get diesel safely into my car, I often need to park in the centre of the fuel lanes at garages to ensure I have ample space to assemble my wheelchair and get to the pumps. Then I have to hope that there’s an accessible way to enter the store and pay, and that not too many cars will be queued and waiting behind mine, disgruntled at the extra time it’s taken me. Refuelling has always been the most stressful part of my journey, and something I’ve often avoided until I can almost drive no further!
This experience has thankfully now changed, with thanks to the MyHailo system, that is also endorsed by Disability Motoring UK. Disabled drivers can buy a small keyring fob on the MyHailo website for under £20, before searching for participating petrol stations in their area and making their way there to refuel. By pointing the fob at a beacon that turns from red to green once assistance is on the way, I can now fill up the tank without leaving my car. And the best bit? It takes a fraction of the time that I used to, and I can park neatly in my own lane at every garage now!!
MyHailo is still growing, but has 500 petrol stations now participating nationwide. Now there’s no need for me to abruptly sound my horn if I require help with filling up the car; the MyHailo way is a more effective, and much more subtle option!